December 27, 2017

Bangladesh: The case for a uniform civil code | Umran Chowdhury

A uniform civil code is the bedrock of any working secular state

Many constitutional democracies in Asia, including India, Bangladesh, and Lebanon, are often trumpeted for secularist credentials. This is due to the enduring co-existence of various religious communities within their borders.

But these countries also segregate their population on the basis of religion. There are different sets of personal law for each religious community. In our sub-continent for example, colonial-era legislation like the Muslim Personal Law, Hindu Personal Law, and Christian Marriages Act serve as the basis of personal law, instead of a uniform civil code.

In Bangladesh, the lack of a uniform personal law undermines legal equality. [ . . . ]